Archive for April, 2009

Many moms I know have pet names for their children. I grew up near a mom who called her son "Poopsie". I still see that guy around. Now that he is nearing 50, he may object if his mother addresses him as Poopsie!

I often call Megan "Buna" as a pet name.  Buna is the word for coffee in Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia. Megan likes the smell of coffee and will drink the last drops of cold coffee in the bottom of any mug. I have been calling her Buna since she was a little girl.

Tonight she decided not to answer to Buna anymore. Here is our conversation tonight:

Me:   Buna. It’s time to get ready for bed.

Megan:  Don’t call me Buna.

Me:  What would you like to be called?

Megan: Emma!

She insisted on being called Emma until bedtime. We’ll see if she remembers her Buna ban, tomorrow! 

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In Robert Munch’s book, "I have to go", the main character, Andrew makes the decision "never to go pee again!" Megan has made a similar decision. This is why we can be heard singing a new song to "He’s a jolly good fellow" The song goes like this:

  • A turd the size of New Jersey
  • A turd the size of New Jersey
  • A turd the size of New Jersey
  • Megidee has to go!

This child has AMAZING capacity! 

I Have to Go!

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Yo Steve and Laura,

We were reading Joe and Kendra’s blog and noted that Kendra said how lovely Emma was in her prom dress. I looked all over your site and could not find photos of the be-prommed Miss Emma. Thus, I request some photos of the young lady in her finery – if you don’t mind!

Lots of love,

Aunt Lynn


OK – Here are a few pictures.

Such a beautiful young lady.  It is hard to believe how quickly they grow up.

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Do any of you have kids who delay getting out the door and to the daycare at all costs?

The lengths the divine Miss M will go to, to delay going to daycare are almost comical! The game begins as soon as she wakes up. She suddenly has a huge number of things that she has to accomplish before we leave. Here is a partial list of items that she feels MUST be accomplished before we leave:

  • Potty….at home and at school….every day
  • changing her wardrobe choice
  • playing with a green truck
  • finding her music player
  • feeding the cat
  • adding sugar to her peanut butter sandwich, or other bizarre food choices
  • demanding chocolate milk, after she decided she no longer wanted the juice she had asked for just minutes earlier
  • changing her socks because they either didn’t match, were itchy, were Shega’s etc…
  • looking all over the house for a missing shoe

I’m thinking of giving her a delay of game penalty. I’m not sure what that looks like for a three year old. I do know that in order to get to work on time, I’m having to begin the count down at least 1/2 hour earlier than before this silly delay game began!

Ideas anyone?!?  Please?!?!  Help?!?!?

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Here’s a parenting dilemma. What do you do when your kiddo just refuses to participate?

I know what to do when kids refuse to participate in cleaning the house, or doing their homework, or even going to church.

I don’t know what to do when kids refuse to participate in the fun things.

Last night, our kiddo didn’t want to go to town to play in the park and go for a walk. I left her home with her dad. Recently, she didn’t want to go to the zoo. I left her home with her dad.

I know how to make my kids clean the house, do their homework or even go to church. I don’t know how to make them have fun! 

Sometimes parenting is such a dilemma!

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Shega:  I have something in my eye again.  GET IT OUT!

Me, while getting a wet washcloth: You sure do. This time of year, we often get things in our eyes. There are leaves and bugs flying through the air and sometimes they get into our eyes. It’s not a big deal. It will come out.

Shega: Last year I got lots of things in my eyes….like leaves and bugs and pinecones.

It seems like I might have remembered the pinecone incident, but I don’t. If it happens again, it might take a little more than a wet washcloth to remove it.

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I never learned how to entertain well. Both Steve and I are comfortable with our cooking skills. We aren’t anything but good old Iowa farm cooks, but we get a lot of practice and enjoy cooking.

It’s the rest of entertaining that we don’t do as well. We struggle to get the house picked up and shined. We don’t know what to serve with what, and I don’t know how to set a table or set up a buffet.

Apparently, I inherited this lack of natural entertaining savvy from my mother. My sister-in-law has often told me a story about when she joined our family for dinner for the very first time. Apparently  I told her, "We know that we put the spoons on the right side of the plates because we looked it up!" I was five at the time and she married into the family anyway.

Last night we hosted card club at our house. We host only once a year.  We are the youngest members of the club. We’ve played pinochle with these folks for 25 years. Many of them are grandparents, and none of them have any children under 20. These folks have such nice clean and well prepared homes. It made us a little nervous to invite them into our toy strewn, kid infested home.

I have to report, the kids did great! All of the kids helped clean and shine before the guests came. The girls did great when the guests were here and the icing on the cake was…… Thomas played pinochle with the adults all night.

He’s picked up pinochle a little at a time over the past few years. It takes a while to become proficient at pinochle and he’s certainly no expert but….he’s pretty good!

I wish I hadn’t stressed about the cleaning, about the food or about the kids. It was all fine! We had a great time. I think we should entertain more often. If we do, I certainly need to be more serene about it. It was definitely all good!


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Transcript of  two interesting conversations this week:

Thomas: We’re having company again this weekend? I have to clean the house every weekend!!!!!???!!

(That poor kid! We typically keep him clothed in rags with a broom in hand. We often call him "Thomasrella".)


Shega: I am stinky so I can’t watch TV????!!!!???

Me: No, You are stinky so you need a bath!

Shega: I didn’t do my homework, so I need a bath???!!!??

Me: No. You didn’t do your homework, so you don’t have time for TV!

Shega: All the kids are watching TV and I am taking a bath and doing homework!!!

(That poor kid! Even though she’s clean and dressed in pajamas, we call her Shegarella!)

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He is risen indeed!

Worship this morning was wonderful. I love singing Easter songs.

We had great food, Easter egg hunts and a game or two of cards. It was a wonderful Heits family holiday. Having all of that fun and good times, made us miss the missing Heits clan members. We missed Keith and April and their gang, Aunt Barb and her kids and Joe and Kendra. We hope their holiday was as pleasant as ours was.

The icing on our Easter cake was a Skype call from Paraguay. It was awesome to hear from Joe and Kendra. It made our holiday feel like a celebration.


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We went to the zoo!  I hadn’t been to this zoo in about 15 years. It has changed for the better. We had a lovely time. Megan loved the monkeys and is still talking about them. Here’s Megan’s version of the story,  "The big brother monkey bonked the little sister monkey on the head. The mama monkey came over and scolded the big brother, and picked up the baby to hold." Then she goes on to add, "But the mama doesn’t have a bobby (bottle). We need to get her a bobby!"

It appears that she thinks zoo life imitates home life!

We stopped at the ET grocery store for injera on our way to the HuHot. Megan loved "pillaging" at the HuHot. When we got home, we ate dorowat and injera. We were on full-feed as the zoo keepers might say.

For some strange reason, Shega did NOT want to go to the zoo. She has never been to a zoo, and I’m not sure why she didn’t want to go this time. We tried hard to change her mind, but she just didn’t want to go. So we dropped her off at Dad’s office. She hung out with him watching movies and going out for pizza with Grandma. I’m sorry to say, I have no pictures of that!


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What do we do during a spring blizzard?


  • play in the hot tub
  • work on the pinewood derby car
  • practice prom hair
  • make a giant batch of dorowat
  • braid
  • watch tv
  • eat
  • hope for spring

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One of the statements that families who choose international adoption often hear is, “Why don’t you adopt in the US? Aren’t there plenty of children available for adoption right here in the US?”
When I hear that question, I often try to explain our decision. I say things like:
We are older parents. We needed to proceed toward an adoption with a more predictable timeline.
We did look at in-country adoption, but we decided on Ethiopia. At the time we adopted, there were many older children and sibling sets waiting for homes.
We know many families who have adopted from the US. A family in our church adopted an older child through the US foster system. I think that is great. I’m so happy for the families that have been created through the US foster system or through domestic adoption.
It seems that the question of “Why don’t you adopt from the US?” is never asked by adoptive families. Typically adoptive parents ask one another about their adoption story and celebrate how families were put together.
 It seems that the question always comes from those who haven’t adopted. In fact, often the same questions are followed by, “I could never do what you are doing, but why didn’t you adopt in the US? There are plenty of kids available for adoption in the US.”
Where do these questions come from?
A belief that American children are more deserving of a home?
A belief that bringing “foreign” children to America will somehow change the society?
I’m not sure where the question comes from, but I think I have a new answer to the question, “Why don’t you adopt from the US?”
My answer, “Why don’t you!”

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